Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

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mickthemaverick
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by mickthemaverick »

Don't forget to copy all your letters to your MP Zel. His/her address will be available on the gov website and while you are unlikely to get any direct action from that direction, having it in your cc list can make the bigger companies realise they have a serious problem rather than a trouble maker! :)

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

Not just the balls up, but the fact that (because they had not given you any prior warning of the visit) you could not have prepared any COVID protection measures to ensure all involved could maintain safe distances, etc. so that nobody could have contracted the virus from anybody else who was asymptomatic.

Just a thought. Might it be worth drilling the hole yourself? That way you will KNOW it has not hit anything damaging (cables, pipes or other things) as you will have taken the correct precautions (based on todays' debacle I would not believe the installation team would even THINK of considering the possibility of a chance there could be something where they want to drill!).

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by admiral51 »

Depending on how much time you have if you look on City Fibre website they show their partners they are in business with.
If you have the time to do it dig out the relevant partner company complaints email address and cc them all in.
It is known a single company will try to fob you off and send you round in circles but when other companies they are promoting as partners get the same info law of averages say 1 will pass it higher up the chain.
They will be more concerned about their own reputation and some of them on the website are quite big companies with a good H&S reputation. James point about the Covid is VERY valid, that is one thing that in my opinion MUST be included.


Colin

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

All valid points. Not expecting much joy from City Fibre to be honest - they've a shocking reputation, and caused merry hell when laying the ducts around here - several of which have collapsed already because of how shoddy the workmanship was. We'll see though.

Despite all this nonsense there was some good today. This arrived in the post.

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Sadly we do appear to have suffered some damage during shipping. Looks like we have a display issue. This is showing an incremental count through all 12 digits.

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Showing all 8s shows that it's the same segments affected in all digits. Negative, memory and overflow indicators should all be lit too.

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The photos on the eBay listing for it show the display working properly so guessing this happened on the way here. Let's have a look to see if it's anything obvious.

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Oooh, look at that IC package...

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Now that's a bit special. Quite surprised to see that on a calculator as recent as 1975 that's not a more specialised type.

The display itself is a bit special too, a Sperry Panaplax II unit... that's worth a closer look isn't it.

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Looking at the right angle you can clearly see the ITO coating in front of each digit which forms the anode.

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That's lovely. While the digits are quite a bit smaller than those on the Kovac K-80D they are a lot brighter.

Doesn't look like I could have asked for an easier design to fault find on at least. The fact I can immediately see two banks of transistors...in groups of 8 and 12 suggests they are the display drivers. Should be easy enough to fault find there even without a schematic.

Very much liking it though and am glad I bought it, even if it is by far the most expensive one I've bought so far... finally getting one with a proper Panaplax display was worth it. I couldn't ignore the Anita name either.

It seems that besides the display issue it's working, though it's a bit hard to tell the arithmetic is behaving when you can't read 2/3rds of the display! Speaking of arithmetic, this is a proper RPN calculator, hence the switch register button.

As the price has been increased nearly $10 a month courtesy of Brexit I'm probably going to stop my Vinyl Moon subscription. It's just pushed it into the "too expensive" category for me I think. That does however mean I'm more willing to throw a bit of money at things like this - as I've rediscovered how much I enjoyed it.

In a related vein I've had a bit of a look at some basics of how CSS works...and it's not quite as terrifying as I remember. Especially given how simple a website it is...as every page uses the same basic format I'd only need to set things up once, then I should just be able to specify the style sheet in the header for each page. The style sheet itself is literally just a list of parameters and values. May have a bit of a play at the weekend and see if I can get it to work.

There are two things on the site the Google Search Console is still complaining about: Clickable items too close together on some pages, and text size too small to read. Not sure quite what to do about the clickable elements issue... I'm *guessing* that's relating to the home/back buttons at the bottom of the pages as it's still there on pages I've deliberately kept decent separation between things. The font too small complaint I'll mess with... don't want to increase it *too* much though or it will end up looking too clunky. I need to try though as it's hurting the visibility of pages in search results.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by myglaren »

A bit off to the side but this may interest you (and possibly others)


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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

myglaren wrote:
22 Jan 2021, 00:23
A bit off to the side but this may interest you (and possibly others)
Very clear presentation, and interesting Steve. It looks not like a case of building a better mousetrap, but building too good a mousetrap that it puts your own mousetrap-making out of business as well, so better not make it widely available :-D

Regards Neil

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by bobins »

Don't get too sidetracked into Bigclive's YouTube - you'll be there for hours as it's full of interesting things :-D He's rather partial to buying electronic tat off of eBay and then showing just how bad it really is :lol:

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by myglaren »

bobins wrote:
22 Jan 2021, 14:17
Don't get too sidetracked into Bigclive's YouTube - you'll be there for hours as it's full of interesting things :-D He's rather partial to buying electronic tat off of eBay and then showing just how bad it really is :lol:
A bit like Zel then :)

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

myglaren wrote:
22 Jan 2021, 14:38
bobins wrote:
22 Jan 2021, 14:17
Don't get too sidetracked into Bigclive's YouTube - you'll be there for hours as it's full of interesting things :-D He's rather partial to buying electronic tat off of eBay and then showing just how bad it really is :lol:
A bit like Zel then :)
I've followed him via his website since long before YouTube even existed!

Thought from having just been out collecting shopping...You know...the police around here could be out actually trying do do something about the blatant disregard for the lockdown rules. No, instead there are three speed camera vans within 5 miles on the virtually empty A5. Yeah, that's good use of resources.

No...they know the road is quiet so people are likely to let their speed drift a bit higher than normal so they reckon it's a good money maker.

Or have I just turned into a cynical, grumpy old man?

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by CitroJim »

Zelandeth wrote:
22 Jan 2021, 14:56
Or have I just turned into a cynical, grumpy old man?
Not at all Zel, just echoing what I suspect a great deal of us may be thinking...

I'm doing all I can to obey the rules and felt guilty yesterday for taking Daffodil out for a bit of a joyride but I seem to be in the minority...

It's like there is no lockdown at all...

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Think I just need to make a point of using the Invacar more until this is over if they're looking for excuses to get you. Saw them parked up in one of the bus stops on H4 the other day just round the corner from us too.

I'm worried now that they might have tagged me. I was taking the slightly long way back from the supermarket - because the car has barely been up to temperature in months - and you know only too well how well disciplined the Activa is where sitting at a consistent speed is concerned. The curse of a very boosty engine...and the main reason I've had the cruise control sitting in a corner for about two years now. She's a menace for creeping up the speedometer on the motorway or a quiet road like that.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Oh you have to be kidding me.

Just had news through that yet another friend of mine has just had a cancer diagnosis. That's three in as many months. In addition to the close friend who passed away towards the end of last year when their treatment was stopped during lockdown. All in their 20s/30s.

Then also spotted the news that overnight an artist who I've followed since the 90s also passed away in their sleep, totally out of the blue. I don't know them personally, but having followed their work for so long it's still a bit of an emotional slap in the face. They were in their early 40s I believe.

Not a great day.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by CitroJim »

Feeling for you Zel... I've lost a few friends now through cancer and it hits us as hard as it hits them, possibly harder... Certainly that was the case with me...

Fingers crossed the prognosis is good for this latest diagnosis and full remission and an 'all clear' will result...

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

We'll have to wait and see. They only got the news today, so still very early days. Just think we're all a bit worried that pretty much everything seems to be on hold unless it's Covid related based on our experiences in this household and with the couple of relatives I stay loosely in touch with.

I've been doing a bit of a poor job of updating things on the cars lately, though mainly because not a huge amount has been going on. It's a good time I've found to start ticking off a few of the jobs which had been waiting for the right time to happen and/or further information. One of these jobs was replacing the rear brake hoses on the Invacar. While the rubber on the ones on there seems fine, the ferrules are quite crusty and I've just never fully trusted them given their age. Despite them passing the "literally having me hanging off the brakes with my entire body weight" test without any signs of distress. However the tricky part there was figuring out what I needed to buy. My original plan had been to take one off the car (or one from a spares stash a friend has) to a local hydraulic specialist and have them make me up a set using the original as a template. This turned out not to be necessary however as someone else had found a Girling cross reference catalogue which showed the part number fitted. The rear brake hoses on an AC or Invacar Model 70 is 64047355. A bit of digging around has confirmed that this is the same as the front brake hoses used on the single master cylinder equipped versions of the Mk I Triumph GT6 (among others...but this seems to be by far the easiest one to find parts for). After initially getting one wrong part delivered (which turned out be a foul up on my part) I got the correct parts ordered.

That was at 16:34 on Friday afternoon, through the eBay shop of MEV Spares...The package dropped through my letter box a couple of minutes past noon the following day. That's some speedy service!

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Their part number for those playing along at home.

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Perfect weather to be working on cars.

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Despite being in the garage, with the door deliberately left out a bit to provide an overhang, and inside a car, the snow STILL managed to find ways to get down the back of my collar and into my right ear while I was working.

What then followed was the best part of two hours swearing at this thing.

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The nuts securing the hose to the chassis and suspension arm fought me the entire way off. Not helped by the fact I was working in a space precisely 2/3rds as wide as I needed it to be to realistically get both hands in - and access from underneath is even worse because all of the brake lines are on top of the chassis or suspension. Realistically I should have just removed the driver's seat first...but that sounds like extra work!

With the hose *finally* liberated I was able to confirm that it does look like we have a perfect match this time.

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Thankfully the retaining nuts survived the brute force required to remove them as I didn't have anything else in stock the correct size or thread. Fitting the new hose was a far quicker process! Doesn't this look better?

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The new hose looks a lot more twisted than the original in the photo mainly because the curve in the pipe is off to one side rather than upwards - that's the orientation it was naturally sitting in before any securing fixings were tightened up, so it's not under any undue strain.

Hopefully get the other side done tomorrow, get the system bled and adjust up the handbrake which is blatantly obviously doing next to nothing on the nearside at the moment - which ties in with me having noticed a bit of extra free play in the brakes recently - the handbrake adjustment plays a big part in that as it basically sets the rest position of the shoes. Car is just coming up on 1000 miles travelled now, so makes sense to my mind to have expected to need to do this as the shoes will have bedded in properly and cleaned any crud off the surface in the drums by now.

Will just be nice for long term peace of mind to know that these hoses have been changed. For all they looked crusty, I don't think the original ones were in imminent danger of failure (or I wouldn't have driven the car!), but it's nice to know I'm not relying on potentially 48 year old rubber hoses when I hit the brakes! *Especially* as this car has single circuit brakes - something I'd really like to look at upgrading in the future for obvious reasons. the flexible hose on the front brake was physically damaged when I got this car so was replaced with a NOS replacement. This part while also an off-the-shelf Girling item doesn't look to be shared with anything common enough to be readily available these days. For peace of mind I may well look to get one of these made up by Pirtek or similar outfits. Though the front hose at least is easy to inspect - unlike the rear ones which are essentially inaccessible unless you're going in through the service hatch in the rear of the cabin.

Also on the long-term peace of mind list regarding the brakes: A few folks have raised concerns about the suitability of copper for rigid brake lines - in spite of it being sold for this purpose with all the prerequisite safety standard markings stamped on it in most motor factors. That message has been received and understood, and I do fully intend to replace all the copper rigid lines with cupronickel ones in due course. I want to fully investigate the possibility of the dual circuit setup first though as I'd rather not do the job twice. I've been as careful as possible to avoid bending the pipe at all beyond what's necessary to form it into the necessary shapes so as to avoid work hardening it, and have made sure it's secured in place as thoroughly as possible (and have actually just bought some more clips to improve on that a bit along the chassis rail for the front to rear main line). Thanks for the advice on that folks, it's not something I would have ever known about without the feedback.

Of course once this work is finished it'll probably be a while before I can take a test drive to see if it's made any noticeable difference to the behaviour of the brakes (not expecting it) given the current situation.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by CitroJim »

Excellent work Zel, especially in this weather!

Amazing what a parts cross-reference throws up! I'm shocked the brake pipe is made in India though... Ditto the new tyres on Daffodil!

I agree on doing the brakes for peace of mind... I was thinking the same when I did the complete brake overhaul on Daffodil and now I have full confidence in her brakes... Especially after seeing how well they performed during the MoT...

Upgrading to a dual circuit system is a good plan.. It should involve nothing more than a new master cylinder and a bit of pipe work...